Edge Bonded Shims

Precision shims are useful aircraft mating components, allowing for the gaps between mating components to be filled in order to provide a precise fit for assemblies. As a result, utilizing precision shims can save a great amount of manufacturing costs as individual parts do not need to be precisely machined in order to operate efficiently in the assembly. Additionally, precision shims can protect the surfaces of mating components, extending their service lives and further decreasing the amount of assembly time and money it takes to maintain a system. In general, the two main types of precision shims that are commonly used include laminated shims and edge bonded shims, each providing their unique benefits to assemblies.

To properly assist in filling the space between aircraft mating components, laminated shims feature layers of metal that can be peeled away until the component is at an optimal size. Each layer of a laminated shim is composed of precision gauge metal foil, and layers are bonded together to form a plate. To remove each metal foil sheet, some shims require tools such as knives, while others may be peeled off by hand. Due to the ability to adjust the size of the shim manually, multiple types of shims do not need to be purchased, and assembly time is saved as various casts do not need to be created in order to achieve different thicknesses. Alongside fully laminated shims, some types are also partially laminated, meaning that a certain amount of the shim is solid. In general, partially laminated shims are most often used when there is a certain strength requirement that is needed, allowing the shim to meet the requirements and standards of a solid shim with a bearing surface on a single side and peelable metal foil on the other.

While the laminated shim can be adjusted in size through the peeling of sheets, edge bonded shims differ in the fact that they are adhered through the edges of the shim’s profile. Because of the method of their assembly, edge bonded shims are simple to adjust in size by breaking the glue bond present on the edge. As a result of the glue, the final shim has no surface contamination after removing parts, and removed parts may be used later due to their ease of removal. Edge bonded shims are also highly regarded for their performance standards, typically meeting those of solid and loose shim types. Altogether, edge bonded shims prove to be an economically advantageous shim option as they can provide the strength required for many applications, as well as can be adjusted in size for precise fittings and ease of procurement. As compared to laminated shims, edge bonded shims provide easier size adjustment and are generally cheaper for materials, furthering cost savings.

With both types of precision shims, companies can find time savings with the reduction of assembly time required to manufacture such shims, as well as cost savings due to needing less variations of sizes with adjustability. While laminated and edge bonded shims provide much of the same use, edge bonded shims may be considered more advantageous for their unique capabilities of adjustment speed, low material costs, and operator safety.

Whether you are in need of precision shims or other aviation parts, Purchasing Management 360 is your sourcing solution for all of your operational needs. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, Purchasing Management 360 is a premier online distributor of aircraft parts, electronic parts, and NSN components that serve a variety of industries and applications. Peruse our robust part catalogues at your leisure, and our team of industry experts are readily available 24/7x365 to provide you with rapid lead-times and competitive pricing on everything that we carry.


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